Dr. David Van Aken, professor of metallurgical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named Curators’ Teaching Professor of materials science and engineering.
The new title will be conferred during Missouri S&T commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 20. The Curators’ Teaching Professorship was established at S&T in 1990 to honor outstanding professors, call attention to teaching excellence, and foster improvements in teaching and learning. The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved Van Aken’s designation as Curators’ Teaching Professor during a recent meeting.
Van Aken joined the S&T faculty in 1993. Previously, he taught at the University of Michigan and worked for Caterpillar Inc.
Van Aken has won numerous university awards for teaching excellence. The awards are based on student evaluations. Van Aken has also served as a faculty advisor for the Metallurgical Society, the Order of Omega, Tau Beta Pi, and the Skeet and Trap Club.
In each of the past three years, Van Aken has been named the Outstanding Faculty Member in Metallurgical Engineering at Missouri S&T. A licensed professional engineer in Missouri and Illinois, he is a past winner of the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award.
The author of more than 70 technical papers, Van Aken published his first book in 2008: Reporting Results: a practical guide for engineers and scientists (Cambridge University Press). The book is co-authored with a colleague at the University of Michigan and is in its second printing.
Van Aken, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, conducts research on the physical metallurgy of ferrous alloys and the mechanical behavior of structural metals. He is also interested in experimental and theoretical aspects of phase transformations.
Van Aken is a member of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology, American Society for Metals International and the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.